Saturday, January 29, 2011

Looking Ahead (Part 2)

Fright Night

My bad-movie sense is tingling, but I'm such a huge fan of the original that I'm trying my best to ignore it. Buffy alum Marti Noxon wrote the script, and they've casted really well with the likes of Colin Farrell and David Tennant. So why the tingling? I wonder if that poster has anything to do with it...


A young family discovers that the body of their comatose boy attracts evil entities, while the boy's mind is trapped in a dark realm known as The Further.


An eleven year old girl is confronted with a monster and throws the life of the whole family off track.

Aside from the clip — gotta brush up on my Spanish, there isn't a ton of information out there. And while I thought the "Zombie Dad" subplot in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's script for 28 Weeks Later was just downright silly, I didn't mind his direction.

Insidious and Intruders are manifestations of a parent's worst nightmare. I expect at least one of them to connect with audiences.

Red Riding Hood

I'm curious about Catherine Hardwicke's first big project after Twilight. Sure, the trailer makes it seem like an obvious (and desperate) attempt to cash in on the YA paranormal romance craze, but there's gotta be more to it, right? The big reveal can't be what I'm thinking...

Source Code

There's nothing better than a good time loop story, even a virtual one. Strong cast here. I have a hunch about the ending, but we'll just have to wait and see...

The Thing

(The quality of that bootleg teaser gives me motion sickness.)

It's going to be tough to compete with John Carpenter's version. Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. has a rather short resume. In fact, this is his first feature... *positive thoughts* ... *positive thoughts*

A diverse batch of genre films this year. Should be fun.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Looking Ahead (Part 1)

I've got my popcorn ready for the movies of 2011. Here's a few on my radar...

STORYLINE (via IMDB): A horror-thriller set on 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month and concerning a entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate.

Kicking myself for not coming up with something like this. Clever concept that will come down to execution. BTW: Director Darren Bousman is on twitter.

Star-crossed lovers pursued by Observer-like individuals trying to preserve the future. I'm a sucker for these kinds of science fiction stories. However, it seems like a stronger premise for a short, rather than a feature length film.

Aside from The Dark Knight franchise, I'm *this* close to being totally burnt out on superhero films, but Captain America intrigues me. It's a period piece that features a hero who doesn't have flashy cgi superpowers, nor is he a billionaire with an arsenal of cool gadgets at his disposal. Hopefully, the script will be up to the challenge.

Zoe Saldana as a cold-blooded assassin in Colombiana. What's not to like?

I wasn't particularly interested in the concept, but the trailer and cast won me over. Looks like a fun ride from Jon Favreau.

STORYLINE (via IMDB): A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Meh. Not much of a grabber — except for the part about being based on true events. Casting Jeffery Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick would suggest solid acting, no? I'm willing to give this one a shot.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Being Human on SyFy

3.8 million overall viewers for the premiere (2 million for the 9pm show, plus the numbers from the 10pm and 11pm rebroadcasts). The SyFy Channel is probably doing backflips over those ratings. Thought it was okay. The cast doesn't have the same chemistry as their U.K. counterparts. Dialogue didn't seem as sharp. Giving Josh a sister was a curious tweak. From what I've read, the storylines are going to deviate from the original after 7-8 episodes or so, basically ignoring the second series and everything after. That being said, the show looks like a keeper. Might be fun to write a spec for it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What I Learned in 2010

"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?!"

1) While I had some success querying producers and production companies, an agent or manager sure would have been helpful. Tracking down contact information and staying up on the latest script sales wasn't that difficult. However, there's just so much to make sense of and sort through. Maybe it's easier with no/low budget scripts, but I didn't hear about unrepped writers making big deals — especially given the current economic climate. Gonna shift my focus a bit...

2) I've covered this point before, but it's worth repeating: not all screenwriting contests are created equal. Although the genre contests have been good to me, they haven't translated into reads or requests. I'm entering two scripts in the Nicholl Fellowship and that's it — okay, maybe trackingb in a quiet moment of desperation.

3) If you're lucky enough to get a read request, don't blow it with a script that hasn't been proofed six ways 'til Sunday. Still kicking myself over that one. I fear the bad coverage may haunt my script forever.

4) It's probably a good idea to send out a batch of query letters (more than twenty), in order to judge its effectiveness.

5) Checking your in-box every five minutes is the quickest route to insanity. They'll respond when they respond. Not too long ago, I received an e-mail from the legal department of a production company, informing me that they didn't accept unsolicited material — nearly two months after I sent the query!

Interesting year. We'll see what develops in 2011. Good luck, everyone!

BTW, somehow I ended up on the 60 Best Blogs for Aspiring Screenwriters, which was unexpected to say the least. You never know who'll stumble across your blog and find it worthwhile. Thanks to my readers!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Cape

Sunday's two hour premiere of The Cape averaged 8.4 million viewers. Considering how much NBC promoted the heck out of it, the numbers are somewhat disappointing. Kids love superheroes, right? Ads were everywhere on the net — Cape banners were plastered over every inch of background on the imdb. They even had spots on sportstalk radio and ran promos during football. Besides the obligatory 2010 Comic-Con push (see graphic novel above), there was a goofy viral campaign that consisted of draping statues in New York with capes. So how does The Cape's ratings stack up against some other NBC premieres? Well...

Undercovers - 8.5 million
The Event - 10.8 million

Undercovers is already gone and The Event is on very shaky ground. Not a good sign...

The tone was all over the place. Jumping back and forth from Dark Knight lite to campy Batman from the 60s. This is supposed to be a simple father and son story, so why the bloated cast and multiple subplots? The Carnival of Crime, the wife & son's struggle, Chess' megalomaniacal plans, the Cape fighting crime with the mysterious Orwell, etc. There's just too much going on here. It's almost as if someone was afraid to have the same characters on screen for extended periods, because audiences might get bored and change the channel. Second hour was better than the first — not by much though. Effects were acceptable for television. The dialogue did make me chuckle once or twice. Overall, it feels like a throwback series from the 80s and 90s. Bottom line: Enjoy it while you can...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Let Me In on DVD

"Let Me In" arrives on DVD next month. I've been ambivalent about this unnecessary remake/adaptation since day one, but I'm finally willing to give it a shot. The film's poor box office performance ($12.1M domestic) wasn't a surprise to fans of the original. It was an incredibly tough — if not impossible — sell. The young leads and R-rating probably confused moviegoers.

Someone pointed out on Twitter that "Vampires Suck" made more money. Different audiences, but still disappointing. I get the impression that Matt Reeves tried his best to be faithful to the novel and succeeded with a quality film. Maybe it'll find that second life on DVD — when was the last time that actually happened? Looking forward to Reeves' commentary. A comic book prequel from Dark Horse is also included.


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